Randy and I are so excited to have successfully finished another course for our accreditation with the International Academy of Wedding Photographers: Marketing for Wedding Photographers by none other than Justin + Mary Marantz! This was definitely an eye-opening course for us both. We’ve always had relatively good luck with marketing for our business over the last five years, but we never really thought about who we wanted to work with (much less how to attract those dream clients). For the first four years or so, it was just our goal to shoot-shoot-shoot – anything and everything that came our way. We thought if they picked us to shoot something for them, we must be the right fit!
And while that worked for a while, it didn’t take us to where we wanted to be.
Over the last year, and especially since taking Justin + Mary’s course, we’ve realized that while we LOVE military homecomings, and we LOVE newborn babies and families … it’s just not what makes us happy, and it’s not what we want to do on a regular basis. Our hearts are with weddings and boudoir, with our brides and grooms, with being part of that magical time in their lives … and we learned that we had to only show what we want to shoot. To take that a step further, we had to market the weddings we have already shot to market to the bride and groom we WANT to shoot.
We took pages and pages of notes while we watched Justin + Mary’s marketing for wedding photographers course. We went back and re-watched segments. We talked about how we could incorporate the things they’re talking about into our workflow and business model. Not only that, but how we could actually see more of the money we are bringing in so that Randy could quit his job (and guess what: after putting Justin + Mary’s marketing strategies into action, Randy was able to quit his day job and we are both full-time wedding photographers!!).
So if you look at our blog over the last few months – you’ve probably noticed some slight changes. For example, we’re incorporating more photos into the wedding posts and we’re really focusing on what we LOVE to shoot: details, the wedding couple and the real emotions of weddings. And guess what? The brides and grooms who are booking us for their weddings next year will actually go out of their way to message us to let us know how excited they are for their own wedding, because they LOVE what we’re capturing for today’s weddings.
Justin + Mary’s course really stressed that we, as business owners, need to figure out who our ideal client is – find out what they do for a living, how old they are, their likes, their dislikes … So, for example:
Our Ideal Wedding Clients:
- Values marriage and respects each other
- Have graduated college
- Loves beer and pizza date nights
- Loves Starbucks
- Binge watches TV series on Netflix
- Is creative and takes on DIY projects
- Loves working out
- Loves traveling and being outdoors
There’s a lot more to our “ideal client profile” – but that’s the gist of it. And guess what? All of our wedding clients that we’ve been booking meet at least 75-80% of our idea client profile (if not a complete 100% match!).
So not only are we booking our DREAM clients … but they are becoming what Justin + Mary call “Customer Evangelists” for our business, referring us to their friends, coworkers, family – everyone getting married. It’s been absolutely amazing to see what a few simple changes in our marketing has done for not only our current weddings, but for the ones we are booking for 2016 and 2017 (and yes, we’re even getting inquiries for 2018 – it’s absolutely the best thing ever!).
In short, Justin + Mary’s marketing for wedding photographers course was absolutely amazing and extremely valuable for our business.
Coming up next: Off-Camera Flash with Matt Kennedy!